Rockaway NYCHA

Jul 2020

The Impacts of Living in NYCHA

Needs for resident health in the Rockaways and beyond

This report is meant to highlight the urgency with which we need to bring better conditions to NYCHA, because not doing so has a direct effect on the health of hundreds of thousands of residents.

Key Findings




COVID-19 and the Health of NYCHA Residents

East Harlem Skyline
The full impact of COVID-19 on the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region will not be known for years, but the scope of the pandemic and who is most impacted is becoming clear.
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Survey Results

Hammel NYCHA jeh
Photo: Jim Henderson | Quote: Andrew, Hammel Houses
They tested for lead in the bathroom one month ago - said they needed to come back - up until today they’ve never returned.”

There is paint peeling on the ceiling in the bathroom and on the wall in the bedroom, the toilet is constantly leaking in the bathroom, the water from the kitchen faucet smells. The building’s lobby smells like mold.”

Shannette, Hammel Houses

The lobby, hallway, and stairway are regularly not kept clean, the elevator isn’t working, the building is always flooded with sewage.”

Diane, Redfern Houses

Frances, a resident of Beach 41st St Houses, describes undrinkable water coming from the faucet in her apartment.

All of the rooms have paint peeling on the walls and ceilings, the bathroom has mold on the wall and ceiling, the pipes are leaking in the kitchen and bathroom, there’s electrical switch damage in the kitchen, the exhaust fan in the bathroom needs to be repaired.”

Diane, Redfern Houses

Shema, a resident of Hammel Houses, describes the third time her apartment has flooded since 2017.

Redfern NYCHA jeh
Photo: Jim Henderson | Quote: Jennifer, Redfern Houses
I take off from work - maintenance doesn’t come - my job is at risk.”

Marcia, a resident of Ocean Bay (Oceanside), describes the slow and inadequate responses from building management.

There was more than one terrible job done in my apartment - they have no respect that I have a job and can’t keep taking off for their employees to not do decent work.”

Shema, Hammel Houses

Danielette, a resident of Hammel Houses, describes unresponsive management in her building.

Rockaway Community Pk td 2018 12 13 02 Edgemere Houses
Photo: Tdorante10 | Kaydain, Ocean Bay (Oceanside)
They take forever to fix or repair anything.”
IMG 8847 copy
Allen, Hammel Houses
“(I have) stress, depression, living here is unbearable. Please help.”

Just inhaling the smell of the mold - it’s not healthy.”

Linda, Redfern Houses
IMG 9784
Quote: Linda, Redfern Houses
I’m sick all the time.”

Resident Services

That we have let more than 400,000 of our neighbors fall into terrible living conditions is a source of shame for us all. Government and the greater civic world of New York City need to engage on this issue.
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NYCHA polo grounds

Wally Gobetz

Next Steps


Special Thanks To

Afua Atta-Mensah
Mary Dailey
Gabe Strachota

Funded By

Deutsche Bank Foundation
Ford Foundation
PNC Foundation

Produced With

Vernell Robinson
Community Voices Heard Rockaway Hub project coordinator, Carleton Manor
Kimberly Comes
Redfern Houses
Lorraine Evans
Beach 41st Street Houses
Benard Gabriel
Beach 41st Street Houses
Danielette Horton
Hammel Houses
Marcia Jones
Oceanside Houses
Sheba Lee
Hammel Houses
Margareth Massac
Oceanside Houses
Denise McBride
Oceanside Houses
Anna Velazquez
Beach 41st Street Houses

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